Alpha hydroxy acids commonly added to skin-care products like face washes, moisturizers and facial peels can be used as exfoliates and/or blemish fighters. While the name “acid” may sound daunting, alpha hydroxy acids are derived from fruits. Glycolic acids are from sugarcane, while citric acids are created from fruits such as grapefruits, oranges and lemons. Grapefruit peels, in particular, offer several benefits for your skin.
Applying a prepared grapefruit peel to your skin puts ascorbic acid on your skin. Also known as vitamin C, this acid helps break the bonds that dead skin can have with the living skin on your face. While the treatment has exfoliating properties, it is considered a gentle re-texturing peel that can help to improve your skin tone and appearance over time. With each subsequent grapefruit peel applied, you may notice more positive results.
You can make your own grapefruit peel at home using ingredients like kosher salt, grapefruit zest, grated fresh ginger and/or an oil like almond or sesame. In this instance, your peel involves using the actual grapefruit peel, which can be obtained using a zesting tool. You also can rub the inside of a grapefruit peel on your skin to reap the benefits of the natural acids. Apply to freshly cleansed skin and leave on for 10 to 15 minutes, then wash away to reveal freshly cleansed skin.
Vitamin C Absorption
Grapefruit contains vitamin C, which your body needs to grow collagen -- a fiber that gives your skin elasticity and tone. While it may take several applications to observe a difference, the vitamin C and alpha hydroxy acids in your skin can facilitate collagen growth. While the grapefruit peel may help you look refreshed and experience less noticeable fine lines, a grapefruit peel may not help to address deeper lines or sagging skin.
While an alpha hydroxy acid peel is generally considered a mild peel, it is possible to experience side effects. These include having a pink or red tint to your skin due to irritation following a grapefruit peel application. Also, you may have some mild skin peeling or dryness because the grapefruit peel has an exfoliating effect. If you have sensitive skin, you may wish to test a patch on your arm to ensure you do not experience adverse effects.